Food industry

Plant processing

Insufficient humidity is one of the main reasons of improper growth of plants. Vast majority of the plants that are grown in greenhouses as well as at our homes, have their natural habitat in warm, humid climates. Therefore in colder months, artificial heat must be introduced. The problem is, that the heat has a tendency to displace the humidity from the room. This supresses
page-12-image-25the growth and makes the plants more prone to pests and illnesses. The mist generated by the nozzles is not only advantegous to keep the proper level of humidity, it may als be used to cool dow
n the delicate sprouts from being burned in the direct sunlight, without overwatering the roots.

Maintaining very high humidity level is a crucial condition of a succesful mushroom production- as an example, champignons require this parameter at a value of 85 to 95%.

The proper vegetable and fruit storage is equally demanding.
As the plants’ cell grow, it needs certain water concentration in the roots and air. When it is harvested, the source of water from the roots is cut out. Therefore, to maintain the cells, and, consequently, the whole fruit or vegetable in a good shape- a source of ‘external’ humidity must be continuosly maintained. It is especially important in the case of green leaf vegetables and herbs. Excessive evaporation at any point between the cultivation and the purchase by the final customer will cause an irreversible damage and turn a perspective income into a waste.

Examplary recommended humidity and temperature storage levels of some of the fruits and vegetables are listed below:aubergine 8-12°C, 90-95% rH

  • tomato 8-10°C, 90% rH
  • early potatoes 10-15°C, 90-95% rH
  • watermelon 10-12°C, 90% rH
  • lemons 10-11°C, 90% rH

page-12-image-24At the grocieries, in the areas where meat, flowers and vegetables are displayed, it is advisable to keep the humidity level between 45 and 55% rH. Some functional rooms, as the ones where certain fruits are kept to ripen and cheeses mature, should also have the climate preciseley controlled. The humidity level should be around 80% for ripening bananas and between 75 and 90% rH for cheeses, depending on the type. Failing to keep the proper parameters may result in a decrease in overall quality (taste, texture) of the final product.

Bakeries

The humidity of the air has an impact on the taste values of the baked goods. To acheive the best results, application of a suitable humidification technology is essential. Control over climate parameters such as temperature and humidity is especially important during the process of production of yeast based baked goods. This allows to maintain proper conditions for yeast growth and therefore acheive adequate porosity after baking, prevent excessive evaporation, lower the surface tension so that at the first stage of baking it is less mechanically resistive. At the final part of the yeast dough maturing, the temperature should be between 35-38°C at the relative humidity of 75 to 85%.

Meat production

Using humidification of many positive effects on the inbreeding of animals. The proper microclimate inside the rooms where the animals are kept for many reasons. The obious one is the reduction of unpleasant smells. But the advantages are much more substantial. The research shows, that too low humidity level makes  the pigs more prone to skin damages and lowers the digestibility of the feed by 2.5%. Additionally, a calming effect of water mist on the animals that are transported for slaughter was proven. This helps to acheive more tender meat.
page-15-image-35Humidification also allows to improve the profitability of poultry inbreeding- during the hatch as well as raising it is important to ensure the favorable conditions. Too low water content in the egg shell may cause a wegiht loss of up to 50% and the chick death rate increase up to 25%. The optimal temperature and humidity in incubation and hatch rooms allows to maintain

advantageous production rates. Too low humidity, especially together with high temperature, leads to a high risk of mycoplasma, feather fragility, increased vulnerability to dieseases. All of these factors lead to a decreased average daily growths.
Maitaining the proper humidity level plays important role meat production industry- too low humidity, combined with too high temperature at the stage of processing or storage may  result in color change. Some companies try to prevent it through the usage of preservatives, such as nitrates- chemicals which neutrality for human health is being questioned.